Filomena Napolitano was born in 1845 in Nola, Campania and immigrated to the United States, through Ellis Island in 1904 with her daughters and second son, my great grandfather Carmine Ferraro. The title of this posting uses her husband’s last name after Napolitano because it was used on her death record in Columbus. Had she stayed in Italy, she would have always been known as Filomena “Napolitano” because Italian women never change their surnames. In fact, Filomena arrived at Ellis Island as Napolitano as you can see on the Lombardia’s passenger manifest from April 28,1904.
A post about the two headstones associated with her in the Mount Calvary Cemetery is here. In case you are wondering, the cemetery still has no explanation on why she has two and why they are in separate places in the cemetery. This is her Find-a-Grave Memorial.
The following posts have already been written on her immigrant children:
For approximately the past six months I have been researching Filomena’s mother’s interesting family, the Sabatinos from Sirico (now Saviano), Napoli, Campania, Italy. They have been extremely easy to research, especially because Sirico was such a small town and appeared to have some money. I literally have binders and files and piles of records from the microfilmed Sirico records from the Naples State Archives. Filomena’s mother was Maria Michela Sabatino, born in 1809 in Sirico on Strada Napolitano, and at the time of her birth, her father Giaocchino was a sartore or tailor and was literate. No, there is likely no connection between the Strada Napolitano and Maria Michela’s future husband – a Napolitano. The surname is incredibly common in Campania. Maria Michela’s mother was Santa di Conza and she was from Salerno. I am patiently waiting for Salerno records to be put on Antenati. Maria Michela appears to be the oldest of their eight children.
In the 1810s Giaocchino moved to being a vendittore di Piazza (seller on the Piazza), a tavernaro (tavernkeeper), and a bottegaro (shopkeeper).* By 1822, Maria Michela’s father Giaocchino was a possidente or wealthy property owner. He always seemed to be hanging around weddings in the town too signing as a witness where I found out about his wealthiest profession – possidente. The signature of the man Giaocchino Sabatino was the same signature on his 1810s children’s birth. I have an entire file of records that contain his signature. One more thing I noticed in Sirico, all the literate Sabatinos of Sirico, too, spelled their surname with ONLY ONE ‘b’ when they signed their names. ANNNNDDDDD, at one point in Sirico’s history, there was a Strada Sabatino according to the records.
Giaocchino Sabatino’s parents were Bartolomeo, a maestro sartore or master tailor, and Cecilia di Falco, an ostetrice or midwife. That makes Filomena’s great grandmother from Sirico a midwife. Giaocchino’s younger brother Lorenzo Sabatino was also a possidente and was Il Sindaco or mayor of Sirico from 1860-1861.
From what I could find, Giaocchino only had brothers and from what I can surmise from viewing the town records, they were literate and educated like Giaocchino. Their names and professions are as follows:
Federigo-calzolaio-shoemaker, vendittore di vino, industriante-trader m. Maria Felicia Ambruscino
Allesandro-sartore m. Domenica Vardolo
Giuseppe-sartore m. Marta D’Avella
Lorenzo-sartore, industriante, possidente, Il Sindaco m. Maria Giuseppa Tuzzolli
As for Cecilia di Falco, she was born around 1763 in Sirico and I found many records about her and the babies she delivered. She is the first midwife on my mother’s side. Therefore, there will be more on the Midwife of Sirico as a later date…
Farindola~~June 17, 1888. On this day in 1888 my great great grandparents Biagio Di Francesco and Marianna Di Pendima were married in Farindola, Pescara. They were both contadini and the parents of my great grandfather Paolo Di Francesco.
Biagio was born on January 15, 1866 in Trosciano, Farindola to Luigi Di Francesco and Anna Emidia Lucerini. His birth record starts at the bottom of this page. Both of his parents were born in Farindola. Marianna was born on March 17, 1868 in Cupoli, Farindola to Carlo Di Pentima from Via Piana, Pianella and Nicola Antonia (di) Giansante from Rione del San Giovanni, Penne. Marianna’s birth.
The witnesses to their marriage were Clemente de Bernardinis, 43, Secretary (Municipal), and Domenico Ammazalorzco, 48, Country Guard (Municipal).
Biagio and Marianna welcomed their first child, Filomena, a little less than 9 months later. She died in infancy. Using other Farindola records on Antenati, I found that they went on to have at least 5 more children, and a stillborn. One son, named Zopito, emigrated to Canada. A daughter named Vincenza was born in 1890 and died in Farindola in 1954.
A son named Alfonso was born in 1892 and was a soldier in the 156 Regiment during World War 1 and died on August 12, 1915 from wounds received at Monte Cappuccio at the Second Battle of the Isonzo. His death record was on Antenati here because his parents requested information on their son from the Italian Army. In 1917, his military death record was sent from Rome to his parents and filed in the town records which I was able to access on Antenati.
My great grandfather Paolo Di Francesco was born in 1897. On July 15, 1915, he was called to military service in World War I and served in the 30th Artillery Regiment of the Infrantry. He was released from service in 1919. He and his future wife Luigia Maria Massei named a son Alfonso.
Biagio and Marianna had a son named Luigi who was born in 1899. He died in 1923 shortly after marrying Maria Vinci. Biagio died in 1923 as well at 29 Via Rossetti, Farindola. His death record is here. Marianna Di Pendima lived at least until 1928 because I have not located her death record in Farindola.
A Bit About the Parents of Marianna Di Pendima
Marianna’s mother Nicola Antonia (di) Giansante’s grandparents were Saverio Di Giansante and Domenica Andreoli. Saverio could write, and I have his signature from his son’s wedding record in Penne. They were contadini as well.
Saverio died in Penne but was born in Carpineto della Nora, Pescara, which is a few miles south of Farindola. Saverio’s death. Saverio and Domenica have a lot of descendants researching them and I run into more and more people wondering if that is why our DNA matches, etc. They are only in my tree once but in my Canadian cousins’ tree twice! As I am typing this I am asking myself why I have not yet researched Carpineto della Nora on Antenati!
Marianna’s father Carlo Di Pentima was born in Pianella and was a contadino. Carlo’s birth is on the left. Pianella is a few miles southeast of Farindola. In Pianella, the surname is spelled with a ‘t’ and not the ‘d’ they gave it in Farindola. I had to keep that in mind when I was looking at indexes. I have been researching Pianella the past week and the town seems larger than Farindola. In the late 1700s Pianella had a colony of Albanians according to the Farindola history I found on this Farindolesi’s website. I love that website.
The research continues…Wouldn’t it be something if I found an Albanian surname in my tree?
Sources: Antenati, Cadutigrandeguerra.it, Archivio di Stato di Teramo, Zia C.
My siblings love to hear what my DNA results are but they don’t want to get to get tested even though Ancestry keeps having sales. I choose not to broadcast my results anymore because if they don’t want to know why my test doesn’t show that I am not 100% European and shows 12% something else, then, never mind. Nor will I tell them how much Scandinavian or Iberian came up. I do know that I don’t have South Asian DNA but someone we are related to does and that is likely a sign of Roma ancestry in that person.
I was contacted recently by a user with a shared match that had an adoptee in their ancestry. So I have been looking more closely at my DNA on Ancestry. I am still learning how to use AncestryDNA, and after a year and a half, by looking at my matches and grouping them together with my shared matches by surnames and birthplaces, I know for sure that I am related to my mother, because I match her first cousin and second cousins on both sides of her family, and I am also related to my father because of the Cirone and Cacciatore matches.
Ancestry started something new this past spring called “Genetic Communities” in an effort, no doubt, to sell more DNA tests. Genetic Communities are “groups of AncestryDNA customers who are connected… most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors…For example some trace their roots back to groups of people who were isolated geographically…” Source: ANCESTRY.COM.
So, are you ready for my two genetic communities? Here is my first:
Here is the closeup:
My second genetic community is…
Southern Italians in which I have 35 DNA matches.
Surprised by either one? No? Then AncestryDNA got something right because the most recent immigrants in my tree were: a parent from Abruzzo and a great grandparent from Campania. Or maybe the Abruzzese and Campanian genetic makeup are similar? I don’t know. 12.5% DNA from my Campanian great grandparent is a small amount to put me in the Southern Italian community that easily. In case you are interested, the other people in the family that had DNA tests at Ancestry (and my family reading this knows who those people are) are not showing up in either of these Italian Genetic Communities.
Today’s birthday is Angela Maria di Massimo, born in 1871 at 10 a.m. in Macchie, Farindola, Pescara. She was the mother of my great grandmother Maria Luigia Massei.
-Angela Maria di Massimo-
The year 1871, day 7 of the month of June at hour 12, at the town hall, announced to me Massimo Ferri, Secretary of this Comune di Farindola, Penne Circuit, Province of Teramo, delegated, the Civil State Official, with the act of the Mayor dated the 20th of July last year, from the Procuratore of the King, appeared Donato di Massimo, of the living Serafino and the deceased Angela Maria Colangeli (Angela Maria Cecilia Colangeli), of 26 years, occupation contadino, living as a resident in Farindola, who presents a baby of the feminine gender, that he says was born on the 7th of the current month at the 10th hour to his wife Anna Domenica Cacciatore, daughter of the living Sabatino and the deceased Antonia Uriani (Oriani/Auriano), of 25 years, with whom he resides in their house in this Comune di Farindola at contrada Macchie, to this daughter he says he has given the name Angela Maria.
The above was declared and was also presented to me by Vincenzo Colangeli of the living Mattia of 37 years of the profession contadino and living as a resident in Farindola and of Costantino Massei (my third great grandfather and future father-in-law of Angela Maria di Massimo), of the living Sabatino of 39 years of the profession of contadino also living as a resident in Farindola.
The rest of the document says something to the effect of “the above act is presented and read to all of those present because they are illiterate.”
Signed: Civil State Officer Delegate
Source: Antenati/Archivio di Stato di Pescara: Stato Civile Italiano, Farindola, Nati 1871 Numero 58
We know from other documents retrievable at Antenati that Angela Maria’s mother Anna Domenica Cacciatore was born in Penne. Her father Donato di Massimo was born at a place in Farindola area called the Colle della Castagna. I would love to figure out where that spot is on a map of Farindola. Donato’s mother Angela Maria Cecilia Colangeli, for whom my second great grandmother was named, was born in Montebello di Bertona, a neighboring village.
Immigrant Emilia Anna Bold was born in 1843 in Nuenschweiler, Rheinpfalz, Germany like her future husband Johann Leies. She was the daughter of Nuenschweiler’s Catholic Schoolmaster Franz Jacob Bold and Elisabetha Scheid. She was my second great grandmother.
Emilia was 1 of 5 Bold children that survived to adulthood. Her brothers Alexander, Richard, came to the United States sometime around 1866. The Catholic Kirchenbuch of Nuenschweiler lists Emilia and her brother Alexander as being confirmed in 1865. Their confirmation sponsor was Emilia’s future husband Johann Leies. In that record the parish priest spelled his surname “Lays.” Emilia’s brothers were both Chicago police officers. We know that Immigrant #1: Chicago Police Officer Alexander Bold was naturalized in 1866 which leads me to believe that is about the same time Emilia arrived. In those days you didn’t have to be in the country for at least 5 years before you could be naturalize. Nobody has ever been able to find the immigration records of the Bolds coming to the United States. Of course it is possible that Emilia came to America with Johann Leies. However, there is no evidence they were married yet. Their marriage was not in the Nuenschweiler Kirchenbuch. I am making a guess they were married in Ohio.
Emilia married Johann Leies. Their sons Alexander (my great grandfather) and John Ferdinand were born in 1870 and 1872, in Wooster, Ohio.
Emilia’s second son, my great grandfather’s brother, John Ferdinand, was ordained a Redemptorist Priest in 1896 in New Orleans and died of a sudden illness shortly thereafter. Uncle John wrote about his uncle John Ferdinand, and in the near future, it will be shared here, like the life of The Multi-Faceted Life Of Fred Eckebrecht 1848-1920.
I only have two records plus a newspaper clipping in America that mention Emilia specifically. She appears on the 1880 census in Chicago as wife of Johann Leies keeping house when he is running a tavern in Chicago. The second record is her Cook County, Illinois death index record! The news clipping is about a civil suit appeal in which she is mentioned in the Civil Suit roll as a plaintiff in 1877, the outcome of which I haven’t yet been able to find. I think she was close to her brother Alexander, having named my great grandfather after him. Maybe both of her brothers frequented her husband’s saloon.
Two years after her passing, Emilia’s widower married Caroline Sickel, a native of New Orleans. She was the daughter of a French immigrant father and German immigrant mother with the surname of Kunz who Uncle John was certain was also a native of Nuenschweiler. She and Johann had no children.
Back in Germany: Franz Jacob Bold
It is known that Emilia’s father Franz Jacob Bold stayed behind in Germany because in 1874 he appeared in this book in 1874 and listed as the schoolmaster of the Catholic school in Nuenschweiler:
Franz Jacob also signed Catholic Church records in Nuenschweiler as the head school master. See Another Week, Another Country. Discoveries in Germany in the Leies Line. The Bolds have been hard to research beyond the parents of Franz Jacob Bold – Johann Adam Bold and Margaretha Becker. He was born in nearby Labach in 1811, and was 1 of 8 children. They were 7 boys and 1 girl in all. Emilia’s Bold grandfather was a farmer. Source: Familienbuch, Knopp-Labach 1785-1799-1824. They moved the family to Rodalben, a neighboring town to Nuenschweiler. Source: Rodalben Kirchenbuch. Because Emilia’s father was the schoolmaster, I want to find out more about the Bolds to see if there are more teachers in her father’s ancestry.
“I can’t help but think the genes of Emilia’s father maybe the cause for so many schoolteachers in Emilia’s descendants.”
Like Emilia, little is known about the life of her mother Elisabetha Scheid. Could she have come to the United States with her children? It is possible. I found a widowed Elizabeth Bold in the 1900 New York City census living with a niece and nephew born in Germany in September 1822. That jives with our Elisabetha. But I can’t connect the niece and nephew to our Elisabetha.
Unfortunately, as is common in researching female ancestors, I know more about Elisabetha’s ancestry than I do her or her daughter Emilia Bold. Elisabetha married Franz Jacob Bold in Nuenschweiler in 1842. She was born in Rodalben in 1822. Please refer to the map below. Fr. Peter Bold baptized her. Elisabetha was the youngest of the 10 children born to Catharina Buchler and Johann Jakob Scheid. Once I had the names of her parents and birthplace, the ancestors just kept coming and are still increasing. According to 850 Jahre Leimen Pfalzerwald** and Die Helfriche* a branch of Elisabetha’s ancestry was living in this southwestern area of the Palatinate before and after the Thirty Years War, which I understand was rare for that time period. Sources: Nuenschweiler Kirchenbuch, Rodalben Kirchenbuch, Familien-und Seelen-Vercheisnissi fur Pfarrei Rodalben, 850 Jahre Leimen Pfalzerwald, Die Helfriche.
Elisabetha’s great grandfather Frederic Scheidt was born in Loutzviller, Moselle, France in 1691.
Source: Baptemes Loutzviller, Archives Moselle/Archives 57, Rodalben Kirchenbuch, Register zu Gerichtsbuch Amtes Grafenstein . The surname is seen with a “t” at the end in Moselle, France.
I like to refer to Elisabetha Scheid as one of the “mill ladies” in my German ancestry because she is one of the ladies that descends from a lot of millers. Two of her great grandfathers, Frederic Scheidt and Christian Becker were millers near Rodalben in Germany. There is evidence from the land purchases and sales in the Register zu Gerichtsbuch des Amtes Grafenstein 1657-1732, that Frederic Scheidt owned several mills in the Rodalben area to include Trulben. Frederic Scheidt’s migration story is coming.
Two of Elisabetha’s great great grandfathers, Johann Jacob (Georg) Hauck and Jean Nicolas Scheidt owned mills. Johann Jacob (Georg) Hauck owned a mill in Vinningen near Rodalben while Jean Nicolas Scheidt owned the Moulin d’Eschviller in Volmunster, Moselle which had previously been owned by his father-in-law Nicolas Bittel/Buttel. This was likely the town’s mill. The current day Moulin d’Eschvhiller is not the mill that was standing in the 1600s. Nicolas Bittel’s father Gall Bittel was a miller in Haspelschiedt, Moselle. Right there, Elisabetha Scheid has at least 6 ancestors owning or operating mills in the Palatinate and Moselle. Sources: Register zu Gerichtsbuh des Amtes Grafenstein, Rodalben Kirchenbuch, 850 Jahre Leimen Pfalzerwald, Die Helfriche, Archives Moselle/Archives 57, Heredis Online, Wikipedia.
Before I write about the unconfirmed part of Elisabetha’s Moselle ancestry from the French Genealogy website Geneanet.org, I have to account for two small things regarding Elisabetha’s ancestry which are also confirmed through credible sources. Her great great great grandfather Jean Jacques Hauck was Game Keeper (Garde Forestier) and Court Alderman (Eschevin de Justice). Source: Heredis Online. His son, the miller Johann Jacob Georg, married Anna Katharina Helfrich. Do you remember that surname from the Schultheiss post? Anna Katharina Helfrich was the daughter of Schultheiss Johann Valentin Helfrich. Now if I am counting correctly, Anna Katharina Helfrich was also the 6th great granddaughter of Junker Helfrich of Leiningen, who was alive in the early 1400s. Emilia Bold would then be the 11th great grand daughter of Junker Helfrich. Sources: Die Helfriche, 850 Jahre Leimen Pfalzerwald, Rodalben Kirchenbuch. A Junker is a usually a minor nobleman or an honorific title, or a country squire. Source: Wikipedia.
Unconfirmed Scheidt Possibilities:
Every time I turn around there are more French genealogy sites giving me more avenues on these ancestors. The major French genealogy site is called Geneanet.org. There are spectacular trees from Moselle on there. And the sources! Wow! Their sourced tree are incredible! Many trees on Geneanet detail parts of the French ancestry of Elisabetha Scheid, that me as an American, without access to more records can neither prove or deny without having someone visit the archives for me. One tree makes a claim that Frederic Scheidt’s great grandfather Alexandre Zeigler was a miller in Volmunster. This data is confirmed at Heredis Online but is not confirmable elsewhere. If that turns out to be true, that would make seven millers in Elisabetha’s ancestry.
Gall Bittel, mentioned above, if the trees can be believed, is purported to have been born in Sarreguemines, Moselle and his father Nicolas Shaub “dit Bittel” is alleged to have migrated from Switzerland or Tyrol. The sources in these trees site notarial records of Comte de Bitche that were not destroyed during the Thirty Years War. Another tree makes the claim that Frederic Scheidt’s great grandfather Francois Jacques Fabing/Faber was born in Switzerland, while another one ties the surname to the Fabers that lived in Bitche, Moselle. If the latter is to be believed, and Emilia Bold’s ancestor Susanna Fabing’s father is actually a Faber from Bitche, and not Switzerland, then Emilia Bold and Johann Leies would be distantly related to each other because the Bitche Fabers are in the ancestry of my second great grandfather Johann Leies as well. The French have access to older records and genealogy books at their genealogy societies that I can only dream of accessing here. I am still skeptical about these Fabers/Fabings and Nicolas Shaub claims .
I wish I knew half as much about Emilia that I do about her mother’s ancestry and I just wish I had a photo of her.
In addition to the sources mentioned throughout this post that can be found at Family Search online and on microflim or online at Archives Moselle/57, the following sources were used:
Uncle John’s writings
United States Federal Censuses
Cook County Marriage and Death Indexes
*The book on the Helfrich’s full title is: Die Helfriche im Grafensteiner Amt by Alfons Helfrich. It is not available online.